10 Ugliest NHL Logos of All Time
The current NHL is a strange collision of the new and the old. Some teams have been in place since the players' sweaters were actually sweaters. Others have only known the era of ice girls and All-Star Weekend.
Drawing from both camps, we'll run down the 10 ugliest logos in NHL history.
The list is unabashedly shaded toward the last couple of decades for two reasons:
One, it's hard to pick at the logos of the NHL's old standbys. All of the Original Six have outstanding logos, and most of the teams that came soon after them, such as the Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues, have stuck to solid formulas throughout their existence.
Two, the NHL's rapid expansion boom under Gary Bettman brought the world some of the worst sports logos it's ever seen.
Just to keep things contained, I chose only logos that served as that team's main emblem for at least one season. Considering alternate uniforms just opens up too many disgusting possibilities and tarnishes too many classic organizations. Fortunately or unfortunately, that's the reason that this little gem didn't make the cut.
10. California Golden Seals (1970-74)
I have no idea what's going on here. It looks like it was supposed to be paint-by-numbers, only the kid who colored it in the lobby of the dentist's office only brought yellow and green crayons.
I imagine that there are a bevy of other reasons for why the California Golden Seals ultimately failed as an NHL franchise, but this atrocity certainly played a role.
9. Anaheim Ducks (2006-Present)
I actually don't hate this logo, but it's such an incredible downgrade from the look of the old Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks. As a person who grew up during the '90s, I have a soft spot for the heroics of Gordon Bombay and Charlie Conway. I enjoyed seeing those uniforms on television every once in a while, right up until the Ducks decided that in order to get serious, they needed to dissociate from their Disney/pee-wee roots.
The Ducks clearly wanted to turn the badass meter up to 11 with this logo, with aggressive fonts on a black background.
Well, Anaheim Ducks, I don't approve of an organization that turns its back on the work of "The Minnesota Miracle Man."
8. Minnesota Wild (2000-Present )
The state of Minnesota, a place where the high school hockey playoffs make Texas' Friday Night Lights look like my Sunday afternoon pickup game, deserves better than this.
Fans pack the Xcel Energy Center to support their team, but I'm sure they all feel a little dirty about supporting a squad that has a panoramic panther embossed on its sweaters.
Apparently, the founders of the Wild saw the Nashville Predators' logo and thought, "This is great, but you know what would make it perfect? A landscape."
7. Atlanta Thrashers (1999-2011)
When the Atlanta Thrashers entered the league, I remember thinking that the nickname was one of the worst in professional sports.
I did a bit of research and found that the "Thrashers" name is actually an homage to Georgia's state bird. It's still not a great name, but with that background, it's excusable.
The Thrashers' logo, on the other hand, is completely indefensible.
A multi-tonal color scheme surrounds the bird, who seems to be wearing a cape or cloak of some kind. The bird swings his upright hockey stick one-handed, which makes me doubt whether the logo's creators were actually familiar with the game of hockey.
This logo would make a lot more sense if the hockey stick were replaced with a tennis racket. Heck, the team probably would have drawn better in Atlanta if it had played tennis instead of hockey.
6. Phoenix Coyotes (1996-2003)
The Coyotes' maroon-and-white color scheme isn't that bad; it's really the coyote himself that makes this uniform uniquely terrible.
It's a huge missed opportunity. When you think about it, the attributes of a coyote—scrappy, ill-tempered, soft hands (OK, maybe I made up that last one)—actually relate well to those of a hockey player. Unfortunately, the Phoenix brass didn't see it that way.
The logo could have just been a simple representation of a local carnivore (this year's version is just fine by me), but instead, Phoenix decided to kick things off with a cartoonish representation of its mascot coyote sporting a mask that looks like Jason Voorhees trying out for his high school production of The Phantom of the Opera.
5. Tampa Bay Lightning (1992-2001)
The recent updates that Tampa Bay has made to its logo still aren't great, but they serve to shed light on just how lazy the original version was.
We've all heard the tall tales about documents penned on the back of cocktail napkins, but in this case, I guess the Lightning management decided to just send the napkin straight off to the printer.
This emblem is more befitting of a tee-ball team than a professional organization. It looks like the jerseys should have "SPONSORED BY BIG RAY'S HARDWARE" written on the back.
4. Nashville Predators (1998-2011)
Apparently, the Nashville NHL ownership group couldn't find anything interesting enough in their city, state or surrounding area to name a hockey team after. Instead of turning to Music Row for inspiration, they looked back to the Pleistocene Era.
The logo that emerged is a clash between new and old, a decidedly futuristic representation of something that ceased to exist over 10,000 years ago.
It's lazy, it's nonsensical, but worst of all, the Nashville Predators' logo spawned this.
3. Washington Capitals (1995-2002)
Who knows why the Washington Capitals dumped this classic look, but unfortunately, all NHL fans had to suffer the teal-tinted consequences.
Apparently, the odd fascination with this color scheme in Washington, D.C. was contagious. Just two short years after the Caps adopted this horrendous logo, the Washington Wizards were born.
Let's all thank our lucky stars that the Washington Nationals weren't around back then. I shudder to think what those uniforms might have looked like.
2. Buffalo Sabres (2006-10)
Seriously, what is this thing? It looks like an angry eyebrow with horns, or some kind of cattle/banana slug hybrid.
Whatever it is, it certainly doesn't belong anywhere near a hockey jersey ever again.
1. New York Islanders (1995-97)
The New York Islanders' menacing mariner is the greatest misstep in NHL logo history.
Who else could top this list but our old buddy the Gorton's Fisherman?
Generally, when your team emblem gives your fans an insatiable craving for battered cod and tartar sauce, you've done something wrong.